Shirtliff interview from Radio Nottingham:
LET'S FINISH ON A HIGH FOR FANS
Evening Post, 05 May 2006
Jonathan D'Laryea wants to put a disappointing few weeks behind him and end the season on a high with victory over Cheltenham tomorrow.
The young Stags midfielder has been unhappy at the way Mansfield have been sucked back towards the bottom of the table, after threatening to mount a late play-off bid.
Like Stags boss Peter Shirtliff, he felt the performance in the 0-0 draw at Bury last week was a particularly poor one.
Now he hopes the team can put that right with a positive display and victory against a side already guaranteed a play-off spot.
"You have to be motivated before every game at this level because you want to win for your own pride and for the supporters," said D'Laryea.
"We are still trying to finish as high up the table as we can and if we beat Cheltenham then that is going to help us do that."
He added: "Since I came to the club I have seen improvement but I'm still a little bit disappointed where we are at this point considering a month ago.
"We have been drawn back into the relegation issue at the bottom when I think we should have been up there challenging for a play-off position."
Whatever the result at Field Mill tomorrow, D'Laryea is looking forward to the 2006-2007 season - his first full one as a Mansfield player.
He said: "I'm very optimistic about next year because I have played against most of the sides and seen what they are capable of.
"I think if we play well we can finish really high up.
"The key will be to start well and find better consistency because that is what has let us down this season."
Shirtliff is also looking for the players to produce one final effort before they go off to enjoy their summer break.
"It's difficult at the end of the season when security is already there but I'm looking for a bit of vibrancy that will lift the crowd," he said.
"Cheltenham will already be planning for the play-offs and it may be that they leave some players out to keep them fresh and match fit for what they hope will be three hard matches to come.
"It's been a difficult season and everyone has played the same number of games, but when you are down at the bottom it takes its toll.
"Things roll along nicely when you are at the top but we have had to scrap hard with those teams at the bottom.
"I want to finish off well and give the crowd something to take away with them for the summer."
Jake Buxton appears to be the only doubt for Mansfield with the toe injury he sustained at Barnet.
The injury was originally thought to be a fracture but it's been re-diagnosed as stretched ligaments.
Barker hoping to end season on a high
CHAD website, 04 May 2006
STAGS skipper Richie Barker said the side are looking to end the season on a high note when promotion-chasing Cheltenham Town visit Field Mill on Saturday (3pm).
"We want to win on Saturday to show the fans we are going in the right direction.
"And it would be nice to see us start scoring goals again. We were one of the top scorers in the league a while back but we have only scored three in the last seven now.
"But there are a lot of tired legs out there and a lot of young lads for who this is the most games they have ever played in a season.
"My legs can't wait for it to end too. Saturday will be my 49th game which is probably the most I have ever played in a season since I turned pro.
"It has been a long season and a season of two halves. We made a disastrous start but we can take a lot of positives out of the last six months.
"We were a bit disappointed not to have a chance of the Play-offs. But we would have taken our current position at Christmas. To be going into the last game of the season not requiring anything is a massive plus."
He added: "Cheltenham will want players fresh and injury-free for the Play-offs, but players will also be wanting to nail their place in the team.
"Maybe they will take their foot off the gas. We have no pressure on us and hopefully we can play the right way and take advantage."
Manager Peter Shirtliff said: "I wasn't happy with our performance at Bury last week and I am looking for a bit of vibrancy on Saturday which will enthuse the crowd a bit."
Stags have found out that Jake Buxton does not have a broken bone in his foot.But he is still struggling to play on Saturday after going through the pain barrier at Bury.
"It was a wrong diagnosis," said Shirtliff. "It was an inconclusive X-ray and they assumed a fracture. But he has apparantly strained a ligament in a joint.
"However, he is very doubtful for Saturday. We have quite a few bumps and bruises. Rhys Day still has nine stitches above his eye after a training collision two days before the Bury game."
With Danny Reet suspended and Jon Hjelde, Gareth Jelleyman, Simon Brown out injured, Shirtliff will probably turn again to his youth team of which two or three may be involved on Saturday.
Latest | May 2006